Augustana will add Division I Hockey
Vikings will make the move to Division One
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -It may be several more years before Augustana makes the transition to Division One as planned, but a brand new sport has emerged and will happen much quicker.
This was a statement released by Augustana Wednesday morning:
Augustana University is making great progress on Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030. This strategic plan includes an effort to provide student-athletes the opportunity to compete at a higher level, elevate the university’s profile and inspire Sioux Falls to enthusiastically embrace Augustana as its hometown team by serving the community and integrating our mission with its needs.
The university plans to add a men’s hockey program that would compete at the NCAA Division I level. The addition of such a program will be the first of its kind in the state, and will be game-changing for Augustana and Sioux Falls as one of just over 60 schools in the country offering Division I men’s hockey.
Augustana is grateful to T. Denny Sanford for the lead gift to facilitate this extraordinary opportunity.
The university plans to share more information later this summer or early fall as more details for the new athletics program are finalized.
Augustana will add Division One hockey starting in 2023 according to and ESPN report Tuesday night and it will reportedly be played in a brand new arena built on campus at a site to be determined. This is exciting news to the hockey community. Especially Walker Duehr who grew up in Sioux Falls, played in the USHL and then at MSU-Mankato and will now play professionally with the Calgary Flames. He realizes how cool this is for his hometown.
Walker Duehr says, ”That’s awesome for the area of Sioux Falls and the community itself. They are a huge hockey community as much as some people don’t know it. If you go to a Stampede game there they are usually sold out and what not so I can only imagine what the crowds will be like here for the Augustana hockey team.”
Mike Hastings, MSU Mankato Hockey Coach says, “Any time we can get somebody within a 3 or 3-1/2 hour drive and I think being with the type quality of program that Augustana is going to represent, I think it’s good for everybody.”
Daniel Houck, Director of SF Youth Hockey says, ”You know the big thing I think for a college or university going to D-I like that is it will just up their overall athletic and academic portfolio. They will be recruiting and attracting student-athletes from all over the world.”
I also spoke to Marty Murray, GM and head coach of the Stampede who is equally excited that Division One hockey will be coming to town giving local fans another chance to enjoy the sport at a very high level.
We’ll share more information from Augustana as it becomes available.
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